Friday, October 30, 2009

Tough day on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan - October 29, 2009

Leaving the Boat Ramps

When I got to the boat ramps I was surprised to see an almost full parking lot. That would normally be unusual for a Thursday this time of year, but the Lake Trout were in and they're only in for a limited amount of time. You have to wait for a south wind to make the lake calm enough to safely go out there so when that window opens up, you have to take it.

Burns Ditch

I put the boat in the water and fished my way down Burns Ditch to the lake. In the past I've caught Largemouth Bass and King Salmon in there, but not today. As I made my way down the ditch, I noticed a lot of new construction. I didn't make it out on the big lake last year at all and was surprised to see a new walkway along the west shoreline.

New Walkway

The walkway was extended all the way out to the rocks that protect the mouth of the ditch from the monster waves that can develop quickly out there.

You can walk all the way out to the lake

Once I made it out to the reef, I started fishing for the lakers the way I've done in the past. They didn't want anything to do with my offerings. I saw a lot of fish caught, but I don't have down-riggers or the other gear that folks were catching them on. That was ok though because I was able to watch and learn. Every now and then a big Lake Trout would surface near me which told that my day will come. It just wasn't going to be today.

Me with a Lake Trout from the past

The lake was fairly calm since the break wall that protects the port was protecting us from the strong south winds that were picking up. By the time noon rolled around, it was blowing pretty good and there were plenty of white caps. I decided to head in without a fish to show for my efforts. Maybe next time they'll be interested in what I was throwing at them.

Starting to get rough

Lake Michigan is amazingly clear these days thanks to the zebra mussels. You can see a crank bait 10 feet down whereas you're lucky to see the same lure 10 inches down in most of the other water I fish.

Portage Public Marina


  1. Hey Bill. As a young boy in Kenosha, I remember the lake can get real bad really quick. Stay safe.

    Mark (Shoreman)

  2. Not all fishing trips result in fish caught. You did the smart thing. You played it safe and still learned something for your next trip out. Happy hookups!